Damaged World Trade Center Neighbor Nearly Dismantled

Nearly ten years after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers, the city is finally nearing completion on the deconstruction of a neighboring building that also sustained heavy damage, reports Karen Matthews for the Associated Press.  The Deutsche Bank building had displayed a “15-story gash” since the World Trade Center’s south tower collapsed, the AP says. According to the article, the 41-story tower located at 130 Liberty houses a sad history that only begins after 9/11.  Though slated for deconstruction in 2005, the skyscraper has been plagued by “legal and regulatory fights, multiple accidents, and a blaze that killed two firefighters,” reports the AP. After the events of September 11, the story explains, the Deutsche Bank building was rendered unusable and shrouded in black netting as competing interests disputed whether to renovate it or destroy it entirely.  The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. purchased the building and pledged itself to the $300 million project of razing it, Matthews says. However, not only was the building’s wreckage polluted with toxic material including asbestos, which has been known to cause mesothelioma in construction workers who breathed it in, but it also contained the remains of some of the men and women who died in the attack, as well as fragments of the planes, says the AP.  The article goes on to explain that plans to dismantle the building without contaminating its surroundings took years to develop. Once deconstruction was finally underway, Matthews reports, several accidents further delayed the proceedings and, tragically, took more lives.  While a falling pipe that hit a nearby fire station in May of 2007 only injured two firefighters, a blaze three months later would trap firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino in the building, where they died of smoke inhalation, says the article.  Because of “deactivated sprinklers, stairwells that had been blocked to contain toxic debris, and a broken standpipe,” three higher-ups in the construction industry were charged with negligence and manslaughter. After that, the AP reports, the dismantling of the building was not able to resume until late 2009, and people that live in the area are thrilled to see it go.  The story quotes resident Mary Perillo as saying, “I love having that black monolith out of my face.” New Yorker Paul Bostick was also glad when the view of the city could finally be seen through the metal skeleton of the building, reports the AP.  “I went from looking across the street at black netting and a building that has a lot of sad history behind it to having an expansive view,” he said.  The story goes on to explain that, for many New Yorkers, this may be one tangible way of moving on from tragedy. Though the deconstruction was originally slated for completion on January 15, Matthews explains, snowstorms meant that as of the writing of the article, the building was expected to be completely dismantled by January 20.  Once the building is razed to street level, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. will hand the property over to the New York Port Authority. References: Karen Matthews. (January 9, 2011) “Tower damaged on 9/11 finally coming down.” Retrieved January 11, 2011 from MSNBC. Previous: New Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment CRS/HIPEC Shows Improved Survival Rates Next: After Judge’s Death, Broward Courthouse Tested for Toxins